In my last week of pre-internship I got the privilege of sitting in on parent teacher interviews. My cooperating teacher uses a checklist to make sure he spoke to each parent on the most important areas. I like this idea as it stops the conversation from going off track, and allows the teacher to make sure each parent gets the most information possible in a limited amount of time. It was strange being on the other end of the parent teacher interviews, I remember going from classroom to classroom with my parents. It is a different experience sitting and waiting for the next group of people to arrive. I was surprised by how many parents came without their child. As a student my parents always expected me to join them for interviews.
I can see now how vital it is to have parent teacher interviews. Student success is important to both teachers and parents. No one wants to watch a child fail, or not meet their full potential. It was nice to see a group of people come to together, and work together, to support a students learning and to highlight their achievements. Not everything in parent teacher interviews needs to be negative. I noticed that much of what my cooperating teacher said was positive. Telling parents that they had a good kid, and highlighting their achievements, before he started talking about any concerns he had. He never said anything untrue, but telling parents positive things about their children before anything negative made everyone more comfortable with the conversation.
Parents should come meet the people who are educating their children. It is easier for everyone if everybody is on the same page. Teachers want your child to succeed, we are on the same team. Like sports teams we need to take a time out, and plan a course of action to win the game. I know people have busy work schedules and some parents even need to leave the city for their jobs. It can be hard for parents to find the time to get to the school. I wonder if there is a way that in my future career I can make myself more available to parents, any ideas?